Spring Training Box Score Watch
A bad way to scout, but I spent the better part of this week engrossed in the WBC action. Friday is a good day to just kick back, watch some ball, check some box scores, and finish with a few idle thoughts here.
Josh Barfield 2B Padres– 17 total bases with 11 RBI in 14 at-bats. Scouting Note – one strikeout.
A .571 average to Mark Bellhorn’s .231 in a job battle I’m predicting (bias disclosed) will go to Barfield.
Ryan Sweeney – OF White Sox – 17 total bases, eight hits including three home runs in 16 at-bats.
The knock on Sweeney, who actually looks like a pure hitter, has been the lack of power with 10 home runs and a .381 slugging through three minor league seasons. The White Sox have spoke of 20-home run power, but does anybody else have that uncomfortable Sean Burroughs feeling? The power thus far in spring training (two more than last season in its entirety) is a good sign, but he’ll need to show it (likely at Double-A to begin 2005) for an extended period before I can really get onboard.
Brent Clevlen – OF Tigers – 15 total bases in 15 at-bats with a 3/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio
Clevlen physically reminds me of Jeff Francoeur a bit, but I don’t consider him the same caliber as the now-major leaguer. I like his power potential and athleticism, while taking note a scouting report that says he can become pull conscious. The strikeout rate is not a factor if he can maintain and improve the slugging totals at Double-A this season. The tools and eye at the plate make him an early candidate for ROY in ’07 if he can continue on the pace he set last season, and not fall back to 2004 form.
Andy Marte – 3B Indians – 15 total bases in 16 at-bats.
According to the organization, Marte will begin the year at Triple-A Buffalo, but incumbent veteran Aaron Boone is not a sure thing as a 33-year-old with a wonky back, and a long but erratic major league history cumulating into a career .763 OPS. There isn’t much to say about Marte that hasn’t already been written about. He shouldn’t have to go back to the minors, and this should be resolved as the season unfolds. Hopefully the demotion in combination with the change of uniform does not affect his game as he can force the issue with a hot minor league start.
Jason Stokes 1B Marlins – The 24-year-old hit his third home run of spring training Friday, and claims to becoming into 2006 healthy after off-season thumb surgery, an injury that destroyed the better part of 2005 for him. Injuries have him in disfavor with the prospectors, and no one is talking he’s a candidate for a job at some point this year. But I don’t see any obstacle in front him that his bat couldn’t force out of the way, and think his power potential –essential for the position – could make problems for the threesome currently projected for the Marlins’ first sack duties. No offense to the many Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham and Wes Helms fans, but a big, healthy year from Stokes in Triple-A could change the landscape considerably.
Not without opinion, regardless of merit,